Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer
NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Summer 2011: Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque white.” The description is dead-on–this is a pure snow white polish that’s opaque in three coats. It’s streaky with just one, and to even it all out, I felt a full three were needed. It dries to a semi-glossy finish, though the swatches are with a top coat (Zoya Armor). I typically get a week of wear with NARS’ polish, and despite NARS’ formula being on the thicker side, this one seemed normal and not thick at all.

The Glossover

LE
product

Ecume

B
I can see this being a color you'll either love or hate, because it is startlingly white and bright at that. It's not surprising that it is streaky with just one coat, as whites often are, and it does have really opaque, even coverage after three coats.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, May 9th, 2011

NARS Exotic Dance Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Exotic Dance Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Summer 2011:  Exotic Dance Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Exotic Dance Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “metallic white silver sheen and metallic gold.” It’s a duo of a bright snow white with a metallic sheen that’s not quite 100% opaque and a darkened, metallic bronzed gold, which applies smoothly and has nice color payoff. It’s kind of like a cooler-toned version of Key Largo. The white seems similar in color to the white from the Cleo duo, but the one in Exotic Dance has a more metallic finish.

The texture of the darker shade is lovely–very smooth, soft, and applies evenly.  The lighter white shade has a few sheerer patches when applied and needs to be patted on for more even application.  NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant.  When I wear them alone, I tend to get around seven to eight hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it’s pretty good and isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).   As far as NARS eyeshadows go, their duos are your best bang for your buck. Most individual eyeshadows from high-end brands are 0.05 oz. on average, while these almost equal out to three of those for $33.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Exotic Dance Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
This is a duo that will work well by itself; you can easily create various gradients of color with this pairing of really light and medium-dark. It's on the cooler side, but the bronzy gold shade is certainly not devoid of warmth entirely.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, May 9th, 2011

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “majestic and modern citrus gold glitter, can be swiped on lids and blended with a fingertip.” Although I haven’t had good experiences with NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I still held out hope, but Queen also disappointed. Despite NARS saying it can be applied to the lid and blended with a fingertip, it only lasts for a half hour or so, and even then, I’m not exactly sure what look NARS was going for.

Queen contains chartreuse glittery bits suspended in a colorless base–there is no color whatsoever, just glitter. It’s not a very densely-packed glitter, either, because it applies sheer and doesn’t seem to be buildable at all. The glitter is large and chunky, and though it didn’t feel quite like sandpaper, it wasn’t soft or smooth when used against the lid. I could definitely feel the grit and unevenness of the glitter as I attempted to apply it on my lid (I applied it directly, using the pencil against the lid).

When I used my fingertips to “blend,” I ended up with half the glitter on my finger with the rest on the lid. Just like several other shades I’ve tried, it creases within an hour (faster, too, but I just took a photo after an hour). The glitter migrated into the crease and collected with its friends. There was even some that had traveled beneath my lower lash line.

I attempted to apply it over an eyeshadow look to add glitter, but it made the look crease, and even before it creased, the glitter didn’t seem to apply evenly or smoothly at all. I also applied it over a clear eyeshadow base, and I still experienced the same creasing and migration of the glitter as without a base. When applied to the lower lash line, it travels down to cheeks and with the sheerness of the product (you can’t get a really dense, rich line of glitter), it just doesn’t apply well.

The Glossover

LE
product

Queen

It doesn't work alone, over a base, over eyeshadow, and if you apply eyeshadow over it, you end up covering a lot of the color of the glitter. You'd be better off applying glitter eyeliner (many are colored glitter suspended in a clear base) and applying that onto the lid, because at least it'll adhere for more than an hour.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011


NARS Laguna: Portrait of Paradise

This summer, NARS introduces a limited-edition collection of products inspired by the cult classic Laguna Bronzing Powder. Taking a cue from Founder & Creative Director François Nars’ island, Motu Tane, the collection evokes vivid images of the exotic French Polynesia. Gorgeous glistening skin begins with the Laguna Body Illuminator, with a delicious scent inspired by the Tiare flower that grows wild on Motu Tane. A gold-flecked Laguna Multiple provides a natural bronzed brilliance to the face, and cheeks are highlighted with NARS’ first Blush/Bronzer Trio. Sweep on, and be swept away.

Laguna Body Illuminator ($45.00)

After the high demand of light-reflecting golden bronze face Illuminator comes an Illuminator designed for body application that won’t transfer onto clothing. Perfect for legs, neck and décolleté, the Body Illuminator is a limited-edition product.

Laguna Multiple ($39.00)

Fusing an iconic shade with a cult classic formula, the brown with golden shimmer shade will debut for the first time as a limited-edition Multiple – perfect for highlighting, lightly contouring, or all-over bronzing.

Orgasm, Albatross, Laguna Blush/Bronzer Trio ($55.00)

Three iconic NARS products, one portable zip-around compact. With Orgasm Blush, Albatross Highlighting Blush Powder, and Laguna Bronzing Powder, this limited-edition trio makes a flawless complexion more attainable than ever.

availability: Now @ NARS

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Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011


NARS Club Mix Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) was a new product, released for spring, as a twist on NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. It’s a glossy, moisturizing jumbo-sized pencil available in six “glazed” shades. The range includes: Baroque (raspberry sorbet), Club Mix (sheer grape), Frivolous (iridescent seashell pink), Happy Days (pink coral infused with gold shimmer), abd Hopi (honey beige), and New Lover (gold infused strawberry pink).

  • Baroque is a dark, pink-tinged red with silver and pink shimmer. It’s nearly opaque on lips.
  • Club Mix is a berry plum with soft pink and burgundy with a slight metallic finish. It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque on lips with a glossy shine.
  • Frivolous is a sheer pink nude with soft gold shimmer that applies semi-sheer to semi-opaque. For me, it’s a rather my-lips-but-better shade.
  • Happy Days is a sheer coral-red with coppery gold shimmer that gives medium color coverage.
  • Hopi is a darkened, coppered tan with gold and copper shimmer. It is almost semi-opaque on lips, but you can still see my lip freckle.
  • New Lover is a dark, cool-toned pink with iridescent pink-peach shimmer. Like Hopi, it is almost semi-opaque in color coverage.

It’s hard to determine just what kind of color coverage to expect from these, because it seems to range from semi-sheer to semi-opaque overall, with Baroque being the most opaque and Frivolous being the sheerest. Given NARS’ gloss range and lipgloss in general, they are typically not opaque, so I think the pigmentation level in these is good and above average.

The finishes of each is a glossy enough to be a gloss but the thin texture of the pencil won’t give lips as full of a look as thicker lip gloss does. These are a great alternative to those who want the shine of the gloss but the texture of a lip balm.

These are smooth and glide on effortlessly, and the coverage is fairly even without having to work at it. They also deposit color well without requiring lots of layers to achieve the results seen in swatches. I get about three hours of wear with these, which is about average. I detected no scent or taste, and the texture of these is not at all tacky.

My concern with these lip pencils is how soft the pencil is–though it lends to easier application, these are so soft that they don’t do well if the temperature is 70 degrees or higher and end up rather melty. Jumbo-sized pencils like these can waste product when sharpened, and the softness of the pencil seems to exacerbate that problem.

Iwish NARS had gone with twist-up packaging, like Clinique, which would make these more convenient (no sharpening required) and eliminate the waste. The amount of waste does seem to vary from sharpener to sharpener, and I usually reach for Urban Decay’s Grindhouse, which gives me minimized waste, but there is still some.

The Glossover

product

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If the packaging didn't waste product every time you sharpened it (or conversely, if they gave you a lot more product!), I'd love these more (they'd be rated a B+ if packaging was fine!). The color range is really workable and wearable across skin tones, and I can see New Lover being a favorite.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, May 2nd, 2011

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Summer 2011: Dogon Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) was named for Mali-based culture and features a metallic taupe with icy green sheen and charcoal black. It is a limited edition duo. I found the lighter shade to apply really smoothly and evenly, while the darker shade was smooth but slightly dusty and pigmentation was good–though it seemed to fade too easily when blended.

In the pan, the darker shade looks rather blue–almost like a really sooty, deep dark blue, but when swatched, it does have a tendency to look much blacker. It still reads a smidgen blue, though, and part of that is owed to the flecks of midnight blue shimmer running through the matte color base.

The lighter shade is a rosy taupe with a subtle green sheen. It’s like a softer, subtler version of MAC Club or Blue Brown pigment. I can see the duochrome nature of the lighter shade really catching peoples’ eyes, though, and of all the products for summer, this is likely to be one of the more coveted pieces.

As far as NARS eyeshadows go, their duos are your best bang for your buck. Most individual eyeshadows from high-end brands are 0.05 oz. on average, while these almost equal out to three of those for $33. NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. When I wear them alone, I tend to get around seven to eight hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Dogon Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This duo has smoky eye written all over it! It is a cooler-toned set of shades, but I think both of them are workable across both skin tones because of their depth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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